Wednesday, 26 March 2008

English Broadcasting Company


One other thing that irritated me somewhat at the weekend.

The BBC once again has the broadcasting rights to Formula 1 motor racing. From 2009 we can again watch uninterrupted (by adverts) coverage of cars whizzing round circuits around the globe without ever finding a way to pass the car in front. At a cost of £200m.

Now I should say I have nothing against Formula 1 - and I can't wait to hear Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" as the theme tune again - and indeed, I used to watch it religiously in the 1990s when there were real battles between Michael Schumacher & Damon Hill. But now it is as fun as watching paint dry or worse - watching the Labour party conference (which the Beeb also has the rights to - though probably not at the same cost...).

But the thing that really annoys me about this is not the fact that nobody really overtakes in F1 anymore. It is the fact that, just a couple of months ago when Setanta bought the rights to all of Scotland's 2010 World Cup Qualifiers at a cost of £3m, the BBC said it couldn't afford to bid for those games. At one sixty-sixth the cost that they have shelled out for Formula 1, the BBC could have satisfied their Scottish sporting fans. Instead they've bought into a sport which no one watches any more.

It is tremendously sad that only those who pay extra for Setanta will now be able to watch Scotland's journey to South Africa, and, hopefully, more golden moments like James McFadden's wonder goal (pictured above) against France in Paris. It is also tremendously frustrating that the BBC has turned its back on Scotland's national sport and that those of us north of the border who have forked out on an ever-increasing TV licence will instead have to make do with Lewis Hamilton's quest for a world title in passing people in the pits.

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